What Is Red Palm Oil?

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  • Written By: Lumara Lee
  • Edited By: Allegra J. Lingo
  • Last Modified Date: 13 October 2019
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Red palm oil is a vegetable oil that comes from the fruit of the palm oil tree. This tree, which is native to tropical Africa, yields more oil than any other tree. Its oil is red in color and has a strong flavor that many describe as similar to olive oil. Red palm oil contains a high amount of beta carotene, the same nutrient that gives carrots their orange color. The oil has been used for thousands of years in both cooking and natural medicine.

This vegetable oil is the healthiest known dietary oil. Red palm oil contains large amounts of magnesium, co-enzyme Q10, and vitamins E, A, and K. It also contains more than 20 other carotenes in addition to beta carotene, and is extremely high in antioxidants.

Before the advent of modern medicine, many Africans used red palm oil to treat almost every disease. It was common for a sick person to drink a cup of oil. Pregnant and nursing mothers drank the oil to obtain required nutrients. The oil was applied to wounds because its antimicrobial agents helped to prevent infection, and its oily properties sped healing. This nutritional and medicinal powerhouse was considered sacred by the ancient Egyptians.


The palm oil tree is grown today in the Caribbean, Asia, South America and Africa, and it is commonly used in cooking. Red palm oil is a popular ingredient in stews, soups, sauces, and bean dishes. Its reputation has spread to other countries, and it can be found in some health food stores.

Red palm oil is still used to treat disease today. It is used in some government programs to eliminate nutritional deficiencies and treat certain illnesses. Even though it contains a high amount of saturated fats, the oil is good for the heart due to its strong antioxidant properties. It doesn’t contain any cholesterol or trans-fatty acids.

Studies show that red palm oil can reverse hardening of the arteries by removing plaque. It can also lower cholesterol and strengthen the heart. The oil has also been proven to reduce inflammation and help prevent heart disease. Countries where people eat a diet high in red palm oil have a lower rate of cardiac problems.

A more recent use of palm oil has been as fuel. Some countries are growing palm oil trees in order to produce biodiesel. The oil has properties so similar to diesel fuel that it can be used to run diesel engines.


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Post 4

I started using red palm oil as a dietary supplement for my African gray parrot to enhance her feathers and prevent feather plucking. Her feathers have become much shinier and her energy level is off the charts. It has improved her overall looks tremendously. After doing research, I found it has the same wonderful benefits for us humans.

I just started eating about 2 tablespoons a day in my oatmeal and smoothies and already am noticing my hair is shinier and my skin has more oil. We will see.

Post 3

@MikeMason-- Like the article said, it tastes a lot like olives. I don't think it's strong at all. The scent is very distinct though, not like olive oil. The great part is that it doesn't lose its benefits when heated.

Post 2

I've started using red palm oil internally and externally with the recommendation of my doctor. I'm so impressed with this oil. I've been putting it in salads and I feel so energetic since I've started eating it.

Red palm oil for skin is also fantastic! I think it's treating my skin condition! I have a condition called keratosis pilaris, a.k.a. chicken skin. My skin feels a lot smoother since using the red palm oil. I think it's definitely helping.

The only downside to the oil is that it's pricey. It's more expensive than other type of oils. So I'm not sure if I'll be able to use it regularly for the long term but I'm going to try.

Post 1

I thought that olive oil is the healthiest oil available. I've been doing all my cooking with it for this reason. I had never heard of red palm oil until now.

It sounds like a fantastic oil though and I would definitely like to try it. Where can I buy red palm oil? Is it expensive? What does it taste like?

I hope the flavor is not too strong. I don't like oils with strong flavor, it changes how foods taste. I tried walnut oil recently which is another very healthy oil. But I didn't like the flavor so I haven't been able to use it. I hope red palm oil has a milder flavor.

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